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By The Rawtarian

My name is Laura-Jane The Rawtarian, and I first went raw in August 2009 and it changed my life. As a result, I created this website, www.therawtarian.com, to share the easiest, most delicious raw vegan recipes with the word.

Since then I've had the priviledge of teaching classes, creating two recipe apps, being interviewed on national radio, being featured in Vegan Life magazine, curating one of the most popular raw vegan recipe websites, hosting The Raw Food Podcast, and speaking at national food blogging conferences across North America--from Miami to Vancouver. It is an honor to spend my days changing the way the world eats, and I am humbled every day by you.

My "before" story

Although I was a long-time vegetarian, my diet was not healthy. I knew it, and my weight fluctuated up and up.

I was often snacking on pizza, chips, and lots of processed fruit juices. I didn't feel good. I was often moody and depressed.

I wasn't much of a cook and the foods that we ate were simple and unhealthy. For example, pasta with pesto sauce--with no salad or veggies. Breakfast was sweetened soy milk with mini wheats or another processed cereal.

I barely bought or ate any unprocessed vegetables.

Every year I gained five more pounds.

In the back of my mind I realized that if this five-pound-a-year-weight-gain continued, by the time I was forty I'd be at least fifty pounds overweight. I looked around. Many women at forty seemed to be fifty pounds overweight, so I accepted that this was the way it would be for me, too.

But enter raw food...

After the first two months of being a 100% raw vegan I had released ten to fifteen pounds. I looked great and I felt even better.

I've found preparing delicious raw foods to be so simple. Inspirationally simple.

Before I began my raw food journey, I was not comfortable in the kitchen. I had absolutely no confidence and no idea how to cook. I just made pasta and sandwiches and ate frozen pizza.

Learning how to prepare raw food has been an amazing and empowering experience for me. I started very rigidly following raw recipes, but after just two months I was creating some of my own recipes. With a limited number of ingredients--fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds--I find that I now understand more about how to combine food. I experiment so much more than I ever did before.

Will I be raw forever? I have no idea. All I can say is that right now I am still excited about the raw food lifestyle and being 100% raw.

Only time will tell where this journey takes me.

The purpose of this website is to inspire others to try and love this amazing lifestyle. Check out my best raw vegan recipes right here and make your first raw recipe.

Comments

Top voted

96 votes
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Hi Laura-Jane. I found the raw lifestyle several years ago, but it took me a few more years to actually try it out. I went raw for about a year (I'd been vegan for almost 10 years prior to going raw). During the time I was eating raw foods, I felt amazing! I was eating lots of nuts and seeds, coconut oil, veggies, and some fruits. I lost lots of weight without even trying. THEN, I read a book (I won't mention the name here) that was written by a doctor. This book spoke about most raw diets as mainly being way too high in fat with not enough carbs. I changed the way I was eating after this (I still don't know why because I was feeling and looking better than I ever had). I omitted all oils and only ate nuts and seeds a couple times a month. I started eating TONS of fruit all day long and a large salad at night. I had so many cravings that I gave up being totally raw and instead just focused on very low fat. So I kept eating all that fruit (I'm talking 10 bananas in one sitting, stuff like that) and started eating cooked, low fat vegan foods at night (like rice mixed with tomatoes with no salt or fat added). Very simple stuff, but I was getting between 2000-3000 calories a day (I weigh around 117, so that's a lot of calories for me). I did that for 5 months and felt horrible almost the whole time. I gained weight to the point where I thought I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I started losing my hair, which is what finally woke me up to the fact that it wasn't working for me. Now I've come back to the original raw diet that I was on but I'm trying to keep track of my fat intake and I'm realizing that about 50% or more of my diet consists of fat! I've stopped losing so much hair though and maybe it's my imagination, but I think I'm losing a bit of weight. I'm finally beginning to feel good again (I'm on day 2). So maybe I'm supposed to eat a lot of fat? Sorry to ramble. I'm just wondering: What do you think about low fat diets? How much fat do you consume, and how much do you think is too much? I'm very confused at this point! Thank you so much. By the way, I LOVE your website. Your recipes are amazing!!!!!
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Love it Amber! Sounds like you are on a roll. If you are feeling overwhelmed, let me suggest that you start with my "raw brownie recipe" (search for it in the search bar) - it's super easy, satisfying and hard to mess up. If you are looking for a structured challenge with online support and such you are welcome to join us in TRK: www.therawtarian.com/TRK if that's something that would interest you. But you can totally go it alone too. I did when I was first starting out :)
85 votes
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i love your site...seriously when you go global..i want to invest in you- so save my email....! I have been in every program out there and raw is the way to go..i am venturing into the full blown version of rawness with the help of your web site. I have eaten organically for over 2 years now and discovered raw foods in sedona az..only when i tried to make kale chips i discovered the whole dehydrator thing and well...just blew if off four years later and tada..two dehydrators humming constantly...who need to turn on the heat... right ! i wanted to thank you and i love your mobile apps purchased both last night and loving it! One question though...is the only way to discover nutritional values (of your meals) to do it on ones own??? so lazy of me :(

All

24 votes
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Hi Laura-Jane,
Let me first say you are absolutely adorable! I am so blessed to have found you through a computer search. I have gone through much this last couple of years and my body has been taxed. I am now ready to get back to my raw food passion and I thank you for giving me the motivation and tools to accomplish this goal. The raw food world can be very lonely and misunderstood, understandably. It is comforting to be able to connect with people who embrace this concept. Keep up the good work and thank you for all of your efforts.

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Hello Julie. Thank you for your lovely words. Here's to rejoining the raw world with a passion!

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Hi Laura-Jane,

I've been poking around your site a bit and I'm having so much fun. I'm very new to the raw world...and for the short time I've been eating raw, I feel amazing. Your site takes everything up a notch for me, makes me realize it's not all bananas and carrot sticks. I'm looking forward to trying your recipes and enjoying the abundance a raw food lifestyle affords. Blessings to you and thanks for the work you do in maintaining this site.

Blissfully raw in Kentucky :)

34 votes
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Love it Carol!! Welcome to the dark side :) Or the light side. Or whichever one is the good one lol

85 votes
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i love your site...seriously when you go global..i want to invest in you- so save my email....! I have been in every program out there and raw is the way to go..i am venturing into the full blown version of rawness with the help of your web site. I have eaten organically for over 2 years now and discovered raw foods in sedona az..only when i tried to make kale chips i discovered the whole dehydrator thing and well...just blew if off four years later and tada..two dehydrators humming constantly...who need to turn on the heat... right ! i wanted to thank you and i love your mobile apps purchased both last night and loving it! One question though...is the only way to discover nutritional values (of your meals) to do it on ones own??? so lazy of me :(
Top Voted
73 votes
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Hi Erin, sounds like you are on a roll! Yep, right now I do not provide nutritional data at all, although that is something that I would love to be able to provide in the future. It makes sense, if one person does it (me) then we could all benefit. Keep those dehydrators pumping! :)
59 votes
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I have to say that I am super excited to find your blog. Last night I was looking at Pinterest and came across a pin from your site. I was toying with the idea of doing a raw food challenge, but since I have discovered your blog I am SO doing it. I'm planning to do it for a week and I'm hoping that the week just roll into a month into a year. I know that I feel SO much better when I eat right. When I'm nauseous all I want to eat are raw veggies. You recipes make it look so doable and I can't wait to try some out.
88 votes
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Love it Amber! Sounds like you are on a roll. If you are feeling overwhelmed, let me suggest that you start with my "raw brownie recipe" (search for it in the search bar) - it's super easy, satisfying and hard to mess up. If you are looking for a structured challenge with online support and such you are welcome to join us in TRK: www.therawtarian.com/TRK if that's something that would interest you. But you can totally go it alone too. I did when I was first starting out :)
Top Voted
96 votes
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Hi Laura-Jane. I found the raw lifestyle several years ago, but it took me a few more years to actually try it out. I went raw for about a year (I'd been vegan for almost 10 years prior to going raw). During the time I was eating raw foods, I felt amazing! I was eating lots of nuts and seeds, coconut oil, veggies, and some fruits. I lost lots of weight without even trying. THEN, I read a book (I won't mention the name here) that was written by a doctor. This book spoke about most raw diets as mainly being way too high in fat with not enough carbs. I changed the way I was eating after this (I still don't know why because I was feeling and looking better than I ever had). I omitted all oils and only ate nuts and seeds a couple times a month. I started eating TONS of fruit all day long and a large salad at night. I had so many cravings that I gave up being totally raw and instead just focused on very low fat. So I kept eating all that fruit (I'm talking 10 bananas in one sitting, stuff like that) and started eating cooked, low fat vegan foods at night (like rice mixed with tomatoes with no salt or fat added). Very simple stuff, but I was getting between 2000-3000 calories a day (I weigh around 117, so that's a lot of calories for me). I did that for 5 months and felt horrible almost the whole time. I gained weight to the point where I thought I'd have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I started losing my hair, which is what finally woke me up to the fact that it wasn't working for me. Now I've come back to the original raw diet that I was on but I'm trying to keep track of my fat intake and I'm realizing that about 50% or more of my diet consists of fat! I've stopped losing so much hair though and maybe it's my imagination, but I think I'm losing a bit of weight. I'm finally beginning to feel good again (I'm on day 2). So maybe I'm supposed to eat a lot of fat? Sorry to ramble. I'm just wondering: What do you think about low fat diets? How much fat do you consume, and how much do you think is too much? I'm very confused at this point! Thank you so much. By the way, I LOVE your website. Your recipes are amazing!!!!!
Top Voted
22 votes
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There is a ton of research showing a diet high in healthy fats is really good for you and helps you lose weight. I'm not a raw food person, although I thoroughly enjoy many of these recipes. But even with my diet being completely different in that I consume raw milk and healthy animals raised on pasture, we believe in the high fat diet. Never felt better in my life! Listen to your body! The raw diet sounds like it complemented you beautifully.

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Thanks, Audrey. I think it is so important for people to find what works best for them individually. As you said, "Listen to your body!" :)

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For whatever reason, if you are talking about an 80/10/10 diet which is the 10 bananas in one sitting diet, I had the same experience when I was eating raw without any fats. I need the nuts for whatever reason but I am still concerned with portion control so I stay within my daily calories. There is nothing wrong with fat, 1/4 cup of nuts is the serving I have at every meal and that is only 200 calories with 17-20g of fat. Another meal, I eat coconut meat, again a HIGH FAT NUT. These fats are all healthy fats so nothing to be alarmed about. Since I have been eating nuts consistently at every meal, my hair has also stopped falling out. A diet strictly based on lettuce and fruits without a high fat/high protein source is asking for disaster since a raw vegan diet is already restricting a lot of other food groups.

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Great comments Christine. I agree wholeheartedly :)

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Hi Ronni, ------------------------------------------ What a journey! My short answer is that you have to listen to your body. (Which it sounds like what you are doing!) ------------------------------------------ That being said, there are some basics that need to be followed, like: you need to take B12 supplements if you are a vegan, and you need to get enough protein from vegan sources. Beyond that, is is clear to me that I need to eat a balanced diet of fruit, veg, nuts and seeds. Completely low fat (almost all fruit and some veg) feels completely wrong to me. That is all I know from my own experiences. I absolutely need some fats to function. This is my reality. --------------------------------------------- Lately my body has been telling me to move away from *so* many nuts and to move move towards beans (kidney, sprouted lentils etc) for protein that has less fat. -------------------------------------------- I do not count calories at all, but I am extremely in tune with my cravings. I know when I need veg, I know when I need a lighter meal, and I know when I need something heavier (like nut pate). ------------------------------------------ Lastly, here is a typical day for me: ********green smoothie for breaky ********snack - fresh fruit and maybe a 1/4 cup nuts *******big huge delicious awesome salad for lunch, full of veg and with some fats, like an avocado, sunflower seeds, and a nice raw dressing **********snack- fresh fruit and maybe a 1/4 cup nuts *********dinner: nice side salad (medium size, probably just veggies only with a light dressing, like oil and vinegar) with a nice **********hearty entree, like raw veggie burgers in a lettuce wrap with cashew mayo *********dessert - a slice of raw brownie or something like that or maybe fresh fruit or some raw banana ice cream etc I have been eating this way for 4.5 years. I feel awesome. I am at my ideal weight, and all my bloodwork comes back really great. the only supplements that I take is B12 and B6 vitamin once a day. Hope this helps give insight into where I'm at and what feels right for me :)
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Hello Laura-Jane. I am teary eyed having found your site today. I have been giving with so much of my heart to make raw-vegan a part of my lifestyle. Until now, I have been in tears over how frustratingly complicated, expensive, and time consuming it is to eat raw vegan in a food desert like this rural small town. I decided to give it one more chance today trying to find simple raw vegan recipes and here you are! I cannot wait to dive in to everything you have on your site. How did I not find this before! I am so excited about this journey that I am about to indirectly start with you. Thank you!
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You can do it Fivel! Just bookmark this page and go nuts: www.therawtarian.com/raw-food-recipes I use a lot of cashews and I use my food processor a lot. I also live in a rural small town, which is why I had to create this little community online to make me feel like less of a crazy person! :) Recipes to try now that are fast and easy and good: http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-brownie-recipe http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-tomato-soup-recipe http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-chocolate-haystacks http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-egg-salad-recipe
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Laura-Jane been following you for a couple of months now. I was one of those women you talked about 5 pounds every year into my 50th birhtday. Then I joined Weight Watchers and dropped 85 pounds! I went to work for them, and still do, but my personal journey has turned to raw! I love it and my husband is amazed how I eat so healthy now, he is joining me a little, but tells everyone how I eat. I was so inspired by all the pages on FB that I started my own a couple of weeks ago and hope to share tips for others. I am now 54 years old and feel better than I did in my twenties. Blessings to you and love your recipes and blog!
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Hi Annette! I would love to see your Facebook page :)
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Hello again! I am loving the raw crackers I made from your recipe. Now I am swimming among the whole high fat medium fat low fat good fat bad fat soup that is out there on the internet. My doctor and his wife went raw @ the first of the year and have been releasing weight, feeling great, and they don't really limit the fats, but they are all the healthy ones. Then I look at Forks over Knives and they really limit fat, even the healthy ones. What are your thoughts?
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Hi Richard, Great question. For me it is all about "relativity" - meaning, it's all relative. and depends what you are comparing it to. We can't all be expected to subscribe to the same diet because we all come from a different place. If someone eats breakfast/lunch/dinner of greasy McDonalds food every day for their entire life, and then converts to a high-fat raw diet and eats a lot of healthy fats well that's a win! If someone is a low-fat raw vegan and eats very little healthy fats and then suddenly gorges on lots of good fats and no greens or anything well that's worrisome. An optimal diet is a well balanced diet. We need good fats just like we need greens. For me, I don't limit my fats whatsoever, although I do feel that I "naturally" limit fats because if I eat too many fats I will feel kind of heavy and will feel that I need something "lighter" if I listen to my cravings. And the longer I have been raw the less I crave a lot of really rich fats, whereas when I was just getting off SAD food I craved a lot more nuts than I do now. So Richard it depends where you are coming from!
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Thank you so much! That really helps. I made the Ranch Dressing and found that it is so satisfying I did not overeat! I love the Raw Crackers and have been playing around with different spices. Same thing! I could eat a whole box of Wheat Thins or other chips, but these are self-limiting! Have a great Holiday Season. Best, Richard
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I hope my words are of some help. And a happy holiday to you Richard! PS: I love that ranch dressing. It goes really well with carrots and broccoli :)
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I love your sight! Tried your breakfast dish!...loved it, and the cashew milk is awesome! i want more, I need to learn more.
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You are in the right place :)
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I just started a raw diet a few days ago. Read about it on the internet. I have been diabetic for about 14 years. Somewhat overweight all my life. My parents are both on insulin. I take it twice a day. My feet started hurting and going numb I thought I was going to be crippled. Got desperate and started the diet. Am dropping weight and my feet are feeling better already, can't wait to see what happens. Blood sugar is not stable yet, goes up and down but I have high hopes. If nothing else already I feel better and have more energy. Thank you for your recipies they are awesome. I am already a fan.

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